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New Funding Criteria Considered by LRA

Main Street Lamar, Co

 

 

The Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board considered a funding application from Anderson and Company PC this past Monday, May 13th, but decided to fund a portion, not the full request for HVAC and roof replacements.

Angie Cue, Community Development Director, approached the board with the request for $6,603 which would be applied to the total construction cost of $44,071.17. Mayor Roger Stagner noted that the project had already been completed and recommended that future requests be made in advance of the project instead of at its completion.

Member Kirk Crespin referenced some guidelines that developed from the TIF training the board received earlier in the month. TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing or the financial portion of improvement to a structure that will be taxed above its base line value assessment.  He suggested the request be re-evaluated as HVAC replacements do not fall into that value category.  “I know we’ve done that in the past, but this training indicates we follow different criteria,” he said.

Cue said that the increase of the property value here is somewhat unknown given the work that was done. The training did stress the need for eliminating blight in the TIF district and City Administrator, John Sutherland, said this was a kind of grey area although the instructors were very specific about the need to alleviate blighted areas or specific buildings that could lead to increased deterioration.  He said it also becomes a question of the Authority Board helping finance a project when the building owner is covering the cost himself.  “We usually have served as an entity that covers a financial gap when there isn’t sufficient financing available on a project,” he added.

Crespin suggested the board devise a way to evaluate future projects and let it become known generally by the start of the New Year instead of informing applicants after the fact. Cue said she’d like to become more informative with published guidelines for the public as well as updating the application forms now available on the city’s website.   She said she’d work to that end with the LPI’s interaction with community businesses.  Crespin added it might be hard to change from an accepted precedent, but there should be enough time between now and 2020 to inform future applicants.

The board decided to alter the size of the application and awarded Anderson and Company a percentage of the construction, $5,195, minus the cost of the HVAC.

Cue told the board she has heard from the American Civil Constructors group, and they expect to complete their work on Main Street by the end of next week, approximately Friday, May 24th.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilities

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